The dog days are here, and you should start looking for a summer activity.
We know the struggle, so we’re here to help. Here’s a quick suggestion: Go fishing using a pedal fishing kayak!
We know what you’re thinking; Pedal fishing kayak? What happened to the standard one?
It is a less known variant of kayaks, but it’s getting more popular every day.
As the concept may be vague for some, we’ve gathered all the information that you might need in this guide to answer the major questions regarding the subject: What is a pedal fishing kayak? What is it used for? When would you need one?
We’re even going to take the extra step and suggest some pedal kayaks that we deem great for both beginners and professionals in this field.
The products list goes as follows:
We’ll get to the details later, so let’s focus on the questions that are roaming your head at the moment!
What Is A Pedal Fishing Kayak?
Simply put, a pedal kayak resembles a regular one, but with a maneuvering difference, as it’s powered by one’s legs and feet, not arms and hands.
This kayak has foot pedals on the deck and propellers or fins below, thus eliminating the need for a paddle since the kayak moves with foot power.
The Best Pedal Fishing Kayaks of 2018
- Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 12
- Hobie Oasis 14 Tandem
- Native Watercraft Slayer Propel 10
- Perception Pescador 12.0 Pilot
- Mirage Outback
1. Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 12 Pedal Fishing Kayak
- Paddler: 1
- Length: 12′ (3.66 m)
- Width: 36″ (0.91 m)
- Height: 20″ (0.51 m)
- Weight Capacity: 500 lbs (227 kg)
- Seat Capacity: 350 lbs (159 kg)
- Fitted Hull Weight: 105 lbs (48 kg)
- Fully Rigged Weight: 128.5 lbs (58.29 kg)
- Construction: Rotomolded Polyethylene
- Lightweight for easy car/ truck mounting
- Big capacity (500 lbs)
- Adjustable and comfortable seat
- Optimized for fishing with a big cargo at the back
- The price can be a bit high for some people
- High shipping fees
Are you a fishing enthusiast trying to find the perfect kayak to use in your journeys?
Look no more, as you’re bound to find everything you may need in the Hobie Mirage 12, which features the Mirage Drive 180 push pedals capable of powering the Turbo fins underneath the yak easily and comfortably.
The Hobie Mirage 12 is designed for fishing, as it’s lightweight, with a 105-pound weight point when the drive isn’t installed and 129.5 pounds when it’s fully rigged, and a total capacity of 500 pounds for both your fishing gear and your catch.
The kayak also features an adjustable seat with a changeable height thanks to the Boa system lumbar support so you can sit comfortably on your kayak.
This kayak is 12 feet long and 36 inches wide, with cargo and a twist and seal hatch with a tackle management system in the back.
There are also six designated rod holders for long rides, four of which are horizontal while the other two are molded-in.
The Hobie Mirage also features a storage hatch at the front that can be used to store fish or ice and a removable liner for easy cleaning after a long day of fishing.
What we like about this kayak is how comfortable it is, as the seat can be flipped up from the bottom to allow you to stand while fishing and the dual steering handle ensures smooth usage on both fresh and salt water.
2. Hobie Oasis 14 Tandem Kayak
- Length: 14’6″
- Width: 33″
- Weight: 127 lbs.
- Paddlers: 2
- Weight Capacity: 550 lbs.
- Best use for fishing
- Rudder Included
- Deluxe Adjustable Seat
- Material: Polyethylene
- It’s a light two-person kayak
- 550-pound capacity
- Multiple storage options
- Can be controlled from any seat
- Fast and smooth on water thanks to double-pedaling
- No downsides were reported for this kayak
If you’re engaged, in a couple, or fishing with a friend, you can’t just let your partner on land while you’re enjoying the water and the sun on your kayak.
That’s why Hobie’s Oasis deserves an honorable mention on our list.
This kayak features dual seats with a dual pedaling system, thus giving you double the power while you’re fishing on your kayak.
Despite being a two-person kayak, Oasis measures 14 feet and 6 inches in length and 33 inches in width, thus making it one of the narrowest kayaks in this industry.
It features comfortable seats for which the back, bottom, lumbar support and height are all adjustable.
The storage options on this kayak are so convenient as you get an 8-inch twist and seal hatch in front of each seat, storage hatches at the bow and stern, and bungee cords for additional gear.
The kayak also has mesh pockets beside each chair and molded-in storage for paddles or rods.
The full capacity of this kayak is 550 pounds, which is more than enough for you, your partner and your fishing gear and catch.
The best thing about this kayak is that it has rubber controls in both seats to allow you o steer no matter where you sit, even if you’re fishing alone.
If your legs get tired while you’re pedaling, you can use the Twist and Stow rudder that doubles for a paddle.
3. Native Watercraft Slayer Propel 10 Pedal Kayak
- Length: 10′ (305 cm)
- Width: 34″ (86 cm)
- Fitted Hull Weight: 62 lbs (28 kg)
- Fully Rigged Weight: 81 lbs (36.7 kg)
- Depth @ Beam: 13″ (33 cm)
- Weight Capacity: 400 lbs (181 kg)
- The lightest 10’ kayak in the market
- Compact design
- Big capacity (500 lbs) for all your fishing gear and catch
- Armchair-comfortable seat
- Solid build
- The warranty policy can be a bit complicated
- It’s not the best kayak for open water
Do you have a small car but still want to get a kayak for fishing? No problem, the solution is Watercraft’s Slayer Propel 10.
This 34-inch wide compact pedal fishing kayak is designed for easy and effortless car top mounting and sliding into the back of a pickup.
It features Watercraft’s Propel Pedal Drive system that boasts forward and backward, which ensures smooth sliding across the water in both directions.
As for the speed, the kayak can reach 4.2 miles per hour with relaxed pedaling, and 5.2 miles per hour when you decide it’s time to hurry up and go home for dinner.
The drive system had rotational pedals, and is designed for 12”-18” minimum depth, which depends on the load, of course.
The total weight of the kayak is 62 pounds without the drive and 81 pounds when it’s fully rugged.
This kayak has an armchair-comfortable and adjustable seat and a wide cockpit to allow you to stand and have a better line casting during your fishing journeys.
Watercraft’s kayak features a clutter-free cockpit, with a large cargo for all your catch at the back, and a sealed compartment at the front for your fishing gear.
The kayak can handle up to 500 pounds in capacity, so you don’t have to worry about fitting all your equipment in it.
The extra feature we dig about this kayak is are the purposely-positioned rails for easy camera mounting.
That can come in handy quite frequently, especially when you’re trying to show your fishing skills and legendary trophy catches to your friends.
4. Perception Pescador 12.0 Pilot Kayak
- Length: 12′ 5″ (381 cm)
- Width: 33.75″ (85.73 cm)
- Weight: 85 lbs. (38 kg)
- Deck height: 16″ (41 cm)
- Weight Capacity: 475 lbs. (216 kg)
- Low price
- 360-degree rubber control system
- Big capacity (475 lbs) for all your fishing gear
- This kayak has an additional room for storage under the seat
- Can be easily transported thanks to front and back carry handles
- Durable thanks to the high-density polyethylene and one-piece roto-molded construction
- Some users reported that the customer support of the manufacturer isn’t that good.
Perception’s Pescador Pilot fishing kayak is the perfect option for those seeking a small kayak capable of hauling all of their catch and fishing gear.
The yak is 33.75” wide and 12.5’ long, making it one of the narrowest kayaks in the market. Do not let that fool you into thinking that this kayak is weak, because it’s not.
The Pescador Pilot can haul 475 pounds of catch and equipment, and it’s powered by a rotational pedaling system that controls the propeller system underneath the hull.
The drive system is comfortable to maneuver, and quite balanced for minimal effort while sailing.
Transporting this kayak is as comfortable as pie thanks to its front and end comfortable handles, and it can fit on top of the car or in any kayak cart thanks to its small size and light 85-pound weight.
Although it has a transporting handle, the manufacturer recommends using a trolley to get the kayak into the water, which is totally understandable since you don’t want to drop the kayak or anything.
The seat is comfortable and designed for day-long water trips, as it has a large room for kayaker and can be removed quite easily.
It also features On-the-fly seatback adjustment tilts for extra comfort while you’re focusing on catching your trophy catch.
What we like about this kayak is how well-made it is durability-wise thanks to its high-density polyethylene and one-piece roto-molded construction, along with an extra plate for added protection while dragging the kayak to the water.
Why Would I Use A Pedal Kayak?
One may prefer a pedal kayak over a paddle one for a variety of reasons, including:
You can still kayak even if you have an injury
Did you get caught up in an accident that injured your arms but you still want to have some water fun?
The solution is simple, get a pedal kayak.
Whatever disability you may have in your upper body, this kayak can still be entirely maneuvered by your feet, which gives anyone the chance to enjoy such sport at ease.
Make sure to consult your physician before doing anything, of course.
Using a pedal kayak is a great lower body workout
It’s a no-brainer that pedaling a bicycle is an excellent lower body workout.
The situation is even better in water as you have to work against a greater force.
If you want to tone your legs’ muscles, get yourself a pedal kayak and get going.
You can do different activities with your hands
You can finally grab your new camera and start your photography journey as a pedal kayak doesn’t require using your hands for maneuvering.
If your photography skills clearly show that you’re not going to be the next Ansel Adams any time soon, you can use your hands for other activities while you’re pedaling, namely fishing.
Fishing is hugely convenient when using a pedal yak as your hands are free to cast your line or reel in your catch, while your feet take care of the heavy lifting and push the kayak forward.
One may even believe that those kayaks were invented for fishing.
Some feature tackle storage and work areas to facilitate assessing your catch and preparing your bait, which makes this activity far more convenient when compared to regular yaks.
That depends on the brand and model though, as some yaks may feature the complete opposite since the pedals may take much space on the deck, thus reducing the available area for fishing gear.
Pedal kayaks usually have a more extensive deck to allow you to stand and move more efficiently, thus giving you a clearer vision to better cast your line while fishing.
This feature also makes the kayak more stable, especially that you can’t use your paddles and knees for this purpose.
The seat of a pedal kayak is usually highly positioned, with a more defined backrest, and it can be adjusted in some cases to fit your needs in terms of pedaling style.
Most pedal yaks feature a rudder to control the direction of the kayak and keep it going in a straight line.
The rudder is usually controlled by a handle that’s often placed close to the seat for easy control of the kayak’s direction.
Popular Types of Pedal Kayaks
No matter how similar they may look, there are several types of pedal kayaks.
The principle is the same, of course, but there are two types of kayaks: The rotational pedal yak and the push pedal one.
Rotational Pedal Kayaks
When you use a rotational pedal, you need to use your whole legs to move forward as it has the same mechanism as a bicycle’s pedal.
These yaks are usually bigger than push pedal kayaks as you need more room in your cockpit since you’ll be moving your whole legs.
Rotation pedal kayaks are faster than push pedal, as you’re using more muscles while pushing it forward, which results in a more comfortable and smoother above water movement.
Also, just like using a bicycle, you’ll create and maintain a monument for a more extended period of time, thus resulting in a more extended pedaling.
Push Pedal Kayaks
As the name indicates, push pedal kayaks move forward by pushing the pedals with your feet, not whole legs like the rotational pedal kayaks.
The downside of the push pedal kayak is that the kayak stops moving as soon as you cease from pushing the pedals, so it’s more tiring to maneuver.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Pedal Fishing Kayaks
It’s a no-brainer that our legs are better than our arms in terms of endurance, for normal individuals at least.
That’s just how our bodies work.
In other words, using your legs to push the kayak forward will result in a faster movement, as you’ll get tired much slower.
This is probably the main reason people tend to use pedal kayaks.
As you use your legs to move the kayaks, your hands are free to practice other activities at the same time, such as photography, fishing, bird watching, etc.
You still need your hands to change direction with the rudder from time to time, but it’s still far better than using them to maneuver and move the kayak while your legs are sitting there doing nothing.
If you’re a fishing fan, a pedal kayak will put your hands to good use as you can use both of them to cast your line or unhook your catch.
Paddles splash a lot of water, and in doing so, they create a lot of noise, which can lead to slight inconvenience, especially if you’re there to fish.
On the other hand, the fins or propellers of a pedal kayak are already underwater and won’t produce much-unwanted noise while you’re moving forward.
Unless you’re The Rock or Batista, paddling the kayak with your hands can get you tired quite quickly.
On the other side, using your legs and feet is more comfortable and allows sea lovers to travel longer distances and for more extended periods.
Also, pedaling creates more momentum which pushes the kayak forward even after you stop driving.
That essentially means that after a short break, starting again won’t consume much energy and you’ll be able to continue your course easily.
Paddling a kayak requires some necessary skills and techniques to do it effectively, while pedaling requires less knowledge and more manpower, making it the perfect kayak for amateur sea riders.
Driving a peddle yak is as easy as riding a bike or walking as you’ll be using your legs and feet only.
Focusing less on sharpening your maneuvering skills will give you more time to enhance other abilities.
You can stay drier (not likely)
Let’s be honest here, you must be prepared to get wet when you’re riding a kayak.
But if you prefer to stay as dry as possible, get a pedal kayak as the fans and propellers are located under water, which results in far less splashing compared to paddle kayaks.
Pedal kayaks are mainly designed for fishing purposes, so they’re usually heavier as they have more equipment on board.
Besides the main pedaling set and extra tools required for the added mechanisms, you may find a storage unit, for your catch.
Pedal kayaks have extra equipment, which can be expensive sometimes, especially that you’ll have some recurring expenses for maintenance, as the fans, propellers, and pedals require lubrication and other actions to keep working at full capacity.
Besides the obvious need for lubrication and regular maintenance actions, you may need to spend some extra money depending on where you’re kayaking.
Saltwater, for example, requires that you use corrosion-resistant equipment to keep the mechanisms working correctly.
Because of the extra equipment under your hull, like the fan or propeller, you won’t be able to set sail in some places, like shallow areas, where using paddles is way easier.
The extra weight and fan underneath your kayak can get you stuck in areas where grasses and seaweed are abundant.
Don’t let that discourage you though, as some pedal kayaks feature additional mechanisms that allow you to lift the fan and propeller for easy kayaking in shallow areas.
Also, controlling the direction of a paddle kayak is more comfortable as you can do it while you’re moving around, while you have to use a rubber to guide a pedal yak.
How To Use A Pedal Fishing Kayak
While using a pedal kayak may seem easy, it can be a little tricky and require some learning to get used to different mechanisms.
For starters, you have to carefully get the kayak from your car to the water, as you have to deal with the extra fans or propellers underneath.
The drive system and the seat can usually be removed and reattached once the yak is on the water to avoid damaging them.
Be careful when moving the kayak around, and make sure to do it with the help of someone else as it’s more substantial than a typical paddle kayak.
Once the kayak is on water, install the seat in the correct position and make sure the angle is comfortable for you, especially if you’re going to pedal for a long distance.
The angle can usually be adjusted even afterward, so focus on setting up the seat correctly at first.
Once everything is set up and ready to go, get on board and start pedaling.
You may notice some imbalance at first if you’re used to balancing your kayak with paddles.
Don’t worry, as you’ll get used to it quickly, so don’t let the shifting from side to side scare you.
If it’s your first time using a pedal kayak, prepare yourself for the weird feeling you’re going to get as your hands won’t be doing anything.
You need to adapt to using the rubber instead of the paddle to change directions.
You can get out of line quite easily when you’re using a pedal kayak, but you can control where you’re going through the handle that’s usually close to your seat.
It’s true, your hand will be free most of the time, but you still have to use them from time to time to correct your direction.
A pedal kayak is a great kayak used mainly for fishing purposes as it allows easy hands-free maneuvering.
The pedaling mechanism makes kayaking easier and gives you the chance to practice other activities while you’re on the kayak, and it comes in two types: rotational and push pedaling, and each of them has its own advantages and drawbacks.
Everything you need to know about pedal fishing kayaks is mentioned above in this guide, so go through it carefully if you intend to buy such yak.
If you decide to purchase a pedal kayak, you can’t go wrong with any of the ones mentioned above.
We recommend getting the Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 12 Kayak as it’s a feature-packed kayak, but it’s entirely up to you to decide.
If you have any questions regarding to them or any of the products mentioned above, do not hesitate to ask in the comments.